Nobel Laureates: End Afghan War

The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of PeaceThe final chapter in The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace is the  2001 International Appeal of Nobel Prize Laureates, Poets, Philosophers, Intellectuals and Human Rights Defenders for an Immediate End to the War against Afghanistan. This appeal ends the final section of the book: Post-Vietnam to the Present (1975- ) .

The appeal succinctly reiterates the points made in the last two essays.  The invasion of Afghanistan fails on two accounts.  It did not bring the perpetrators of 9/11 to justice.  It is increasing the future likelihood of terrorism against the US.

Since the Appeal is short, and a public document, I have reproduced it below:  

International Appeal of Nobel Prize Laureates, Poets, Philosophers, Intellectuals and Human Rights Defenders FOR AN IMMEDIATE END TO THE WAR AGAINST AFGHANISTAN

English: US Army map of Afghanistan -- circa 2...
US Army map of Afghanistan

Military measures intended to support the arrest of a terrorist have turned into a large-scale attack on one of the poorest countries in the world, as well as on its population, which is tormented by hunger and poverty and threatened by uprooting and death.

As little as the gap between rich and poor in the world was the cause of the murderous attack on Sept.11, all the more are the attacks against Afghanistan deepening this gap and thereby multiplying reasons to hate the West and its civilization. In the future the West will be less identified with its best qualities, with democracy, a constitutional order and prosperity than with its shadowy sides, with a lack of respect, arbitrary acts and violence.

With every bomb that falls and every western soldier who kills on Afghan soil, the rich part of this world closes its eyes to the suffering of the peoples in the south. Even the apparent successes presently do not change this. With its offensive the West is not only undermining the idea of a collective legal effort to counteract terror, but is also betraying its own principles. In the final analysis this undeclared war is no longer being waged to combat terrorism but rather to preserve a reputation of military invincibility. Finally, with every day that war is waged there and with every new security law passed here (in the western world) , that very freedom which is supposedly being defended is threatened and those refugees, who are the products of this military action and its consequences, are marginalized.

On September 11, not only did thousands of people suffer an agonising death, but even western civilization suffered a defeat. Those murdered in the attack will not be restored to life through the war against the Taliban. With every day of war the risk of a still greater moral and political disaster increases. It is still possible to learn from the failures experienced up to now. There is still a chance to return to negotiations and to reach a political solution which attempts to reestablish a legal order and to provide for justice and social equality in Afghanistan and in the world.

13th November, Frankfurt (Germany)

First Signatories:

José Saramago (Portugal, Nobel Prize in Literature 1998) – Günter Grass (Germany, Nobel Prize in Literature 1999) – Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Argentina, Nobel Peace Prize 1980) – Rigoberta Menchú Tum (Guatemala, Nobel Peace Prize 1992) – José Ramos-Horta (East Timor, Nobel Peace Prize 1996)

Adonis (Ali Ahmad Sa’îd Esbir) (France/Lebanon) – Orhan Pamuk (Turkey) – Mahmoud Darwisch (Palestine) – Ogaga Ifowodo (Nigeria) – Harold Pinter (Great Britain) – Faraj Sarkohi (Iran)- Juan Villoro (Mexico) – Abdourahman A. Waberi (Djibouti/France) – Sean McGuffin (Ireland) – Christa Wolf (Germany)

Uri Avnery (Israel) – Monseñor Samuel Ruiz García (Mexico) – Danielle Mitterrand (France-Liberté, France) – Dr. Paz Rojas Baeza (CODEPU, Chile) – Akin Birdal (Human Rights Defender, Turkey) – Dr. Jean Ziegler (Delegate of Suisse to the United Nations) -Günter Gaus (Germany)

Prof. Giorgio Agamben (Italy) – Prof. Neville Alexander (South Afrika) – Prof. Francis A. Boyle (USA) – Prof. Judith Butler (USA) – Prof. Hajo Funke (Germany) – Prof. Axel Honneth (Germany) – Prof. Walter Jens (Germany) – Prof. Steve Lukes (Great Britain/Italy) – Prof. Jean-Luc Nancy (France) – Prof. Bertrand Ogilvie (France)

This international appeal was initiated by the German, Frankfurt based, non governmental organisation medico international (Nobel Peace Prize for the Campaign against Land Mines 1997). The author is Prof. Micha Brumlik, University of Frankfurt (Germany).

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